Failing to Stop

From 29 August 2012 new mandatory minimum sentencing laws significantly increased the penalties for failing to stop as soon as reasonably practicable after being directed to do so by a police officer.

Mandatory sentencing was introduced as a response to dangerous police pursuits.

To be convicted the direction to stop has to be given by a police officer who is in a police motor vehicle.

What are the penalties?

The minimum fine is now $5,500.00 and there is a mandatory drivers licence disqualification of 2 years.

The maximum penalty is a fine of $22,000 or prison for 3 years.

Does the Magistrate have any other sentencing options besides a large fine?

Yes. A Magistrate can impose any of the following

·         a probation order

·         a community service order

·         a prison sentence, including a suspended sentence or immediate parole

Is there any way I can keep my licence?

Also, a Magistrate can order an absolute discharge. This is very rare in these sorts of cases. Cases already decided in Queensland suggest that if a Magistrate orders an absolute discharge then a minimum 2 year disqualification is not automatic.

Are there alternative charges?

Yes, the charge of contravene direction or requirement under section 791 is a possible alternative charge. This offence has a maximum penalty of $4,400 and no mandatory licence disqualification.